Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
I'm not sure why, but I see a difference in what Daniel wrote and what Kent wrote. maybe my crit reading isn't apt, I dunno. Kent's work seems more mature in the registration of righteous anger. Kent's work is more focused in this usage. Daniel has written some decidedly lala poems (not to say I haven't, in case you wondered), one's in which ineffableness comes a-calling. if I could dig out his book I'd give examples, but I haven't time à ce moment. there's that point when writing is a tool, and that tool, so envisioned, always gets misused. if I have beliefs about poetry, they flutter around the idea that poetry acts to free itself (the language it entails) from such use. as much as I might believe, the words are on their own.
Daniel Bouchard posted a diatribe of sorts to Poetics list, which you can read at the list's archive easily enough. he excoriates the current po world. as polemics I agree with him, but the poetry he serves is of a high school variety. it is deadly sincere and heavy handed and more sincere and heavy and still sincere and finally that sincerity coems across as just plain whiny. Bouchard's in his 30s, which seems a little old to be telling others how to go. worry about your own derivations. I saw Daniel read at Boston Poetry Festival or whatever it was called then. he led off with a powerful, fiery reading of what I should have recognized as a poem by WCW. his righteous anger merged wonderfully with thatr of WCW. unfortunately everything else he read, his own stuff, paled. it was much more airy and diffuse, without the muscle evident in Williams' poem. similar circ occurred when I saw Susan Landers reaad. she began with a work by Stein, which was wonderful, and wonderfully read. her own work seemed derivative in comparison, altho it was good poetry. she read Stein's work better than her own.
Monday, May 31, 2004
Kent Johnson's poem in Blaze Vox is powerful, tho you don't really need to read the whole thing. you do if you want to invest in the anger and moral outrage, but not to get it. by investing I mean the aggressive experience of the anger and outrage, in a positive sense. a nattering occurred on Poetics concerning KJ, the list's bad boy bête noir. I like Kent, and the complacency of the poetry world needs his attitude. not that the poetry world wants it. Kent has made a literature out of his subversive appearance on lists and, now, in blog comments fields. uh oh, Kent Johnson has shown up!. Kent has his own beasts black, the language poets, specifically Charles Bernstein and Ron Silliman, whom he cites for a sort of chardonnay revolution. Kent can sleep easy, he stays on topic. Kent's in Indiana, which is officially the hinterlands. anywhere other than NYC, SF or Big College Towns are hinterlands, and even the BCTs can be out there. I am tired of the smarmy network, especially seeing how book sales are. Buffalopolis has a supercharged POETICS programs, presumably churning out the new generation of what's ahead. gobs thereof. but really, it's just lining up more teachers to fill the academic roles, blah blah blah or try to tell me otherwise. Kent teaches at a community college, which is an entirely different angle. anyway, hat tipped.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
John Latta's doing great in depth poetics at his blog, here. I'm not the first to note that Ron Silliman can deliver from on high at times, which can get tiresome, as valuable as his perceptions can be. Latta has a lighter touch that way, and is percipient as well. I know, it's not a competition, I'm just weighing the two.